Tory Armstrong - 10 Years Since the Superyacht Cadetship

Published 08/03/2024

Tory Armstrong first joined us here at UKSA in 2014 as a Superyacht Cadetship student.

After finishing school at 18 Tory began travelling, and eventually found herself working ski seasons throughout the winter months. During this time a friend of Tory’s first introduced her to the idea of working on superyachts, suggesting that they worked at ski resorts during the winter and on yachts during the summer.

Tory had grown up sailing with her parents, so was already confident on the water. Looking to continue travelling whilst also being able to earn money, Tory started searching for a suitable pathway into the superyacht industry – and came across UKSA’s Superyacht Cadetship.

“What drew me to the Cadetship was the hands-on experience you get to build up on the water, and the sea miles you gain over the duration of the course. It allows you to be thrown into situations that you wouldn’t usually be in.”

Still young and earning minimum wage, Tory received funding support from Trinity House, enabling her to enrol on the course.
“The funding I received from Trinity House helped me hugely. I had about 50 Euros to my name at the time so I would have never been able to do the course without their support.”

“Learning to live in such close quarters with my crew was my biggest challenge at the start of the course.”
Overcoming these challenges, Tory’s crew became life-long friends. “I met amazing people and made great contacts, I met one of my best friends on the Cadetship course. I still have a solid close-knit group of friends from my time at UKSA.”

After graduating from UKSA Tory felt more ready than ever to step out into the superyacht industry.

“When I graduated from UKSA I flew to Antibes and went dock walking. I managed to find some day work, and from there I built up a good relationship with the captain and gained a role as so

le deckhand on a motor yacht. I then went on to a new role on a 50m sailing yacht and have been on sailing yachts ever since. I have progressed from Deckhand to Bosun and am now Chief Officer.”

Since leaving UKSA Tory has also completed a 4-year around the world trip on a sailing yacht and gained a degree in sustainable maritime operations. Tory is currently the Chief Officer of a 52-metre sailing yacht out of the Mediterranean and the Caribbean.

Tory has recently been back at UKSA completing her Celestial Navigation Refresher and Business and Law modules, working towards her MCA Master Yacht certification.

Her advice to our current cadets:

“Appreciate every moment while you’re here, and soak up all the knowledge the instructors have to offer. Always present yourself well whether that’s while you are dock walking, in a bar or on your boat. Always be kind and polite, but most importantly have fun.”

Find out more about UKSA’s Superyacht Cadetship here